West Seattle, Washington
We’re at the Southwest Precinct, where — after the Delridge District Council meeting wrapped up (details on that later) — we got to see the early draft of the report on last night’s High Point incident that left a police officer badly hurt. Here are the basics:Read More
While checking with Lt. Steve Paulsen at Southwest Precinct about the Alki trouble last night, we learned that a police officer was assaulted last night at High Point — Lt. Paulsen explained, “A large group of juveniles 16-18 years of age jumped an officer and kicked him severely, repeatedly, in the head. We arrested the suspects.” Regarding the officer’s condition: “He’s going to be OK.”
Reporting from City Hall downtown (where the west-facing windows show a glimpse of West Seattle and a slice of Elliott Bay – the glare in the photo obscures the view, but you get the idea): We mentioned earlier today that Captain Joe Kessler and other Southwest Precinct leaders were scheduled to brief the City Council’s Public Safety (etc.) Committee at 2 pm today; the committee’s actually taking care of other business first and the SWP briefing is yet to come, sometime after 3 pm, just in case you’re following along via the Seattle Channel (online here, on-air at Channel 21). We’re here not just to cover it but there’s also a chance that the precinct leaders may talk about the SWP’s unique informational pratnership with WSB, in which case we might be asked to say a few words. MORE COUNCIL NEWS: Just in via e-mail, the council has just set a 7 pm July 8 hearing on the proposed bag fee/foam ban. 3:52 PM UPDATE: Our 15 seconds of fame will have to wait for another day. WSB got a nice shoutout from Lt. Steve Paulsen, but more importantly, both he and Capt. Kessler gave major props to YOU — and everyone in West Seattle — for what they called an “incredible” level of commitment, alertness, and involvement, which is helping keep our area safer. Some interesting stats in Capt. Kessler’s presentation, too; we’ll write those up a bit later – now we’re heading across downtown for the Parks and Green Spaces Levy Citizens’ Advisory Committee‘s big public hearing at Seattle Center at 5:30 pm (exactly where, is explained here).
Before we get to the latest highlights of reports from the Southwest Precinct, we wanted to mention you have two chances today to hear from Captain Joe Kessler, who has been running the SWP for more than two months now (we first caught up with him on his first day in the office, April 9th): At 2 pm today, he and other SW Precinct leaders will be at City Hall downtown to brief the City Council’s Public Safety, Human Services, and Education Committee on crime trends and other issues/achievements in our area; you can watch live on the Seattle Channel (on-air or online), and we’ll be there to cover it, too. Then tonight at 7 pm, Capt. Kessler will be at the monthly West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting — which always includes an all-star lineup of local police leaders, but he hasn’t had a chance to join them yet. This is also the monthly meeting where you can come ask police about any concerns in your neighborhood; a new name likely will be chosen before the night’s out, too (here’s our report on previous suggestions); you can see the agenda here — including a list of phone numbers you might want to keep handy for neighborhood nuisances as well as crime-related problems. Now, on to a few notable incidents from reports processed over the last several days (there’s often a day or more of lag time, so this doesn’t include incidents from most of Sunday, or Monday), including two scam reports and the latest home/car break-ins:Read More
While visiting the Southwest Precinct earlier this week, we asked about plans for 4th of July traffic control, in hopes we could give you an early heads-up. Lt. Norm James, second-watch commander at the precinct, quickly provided that info; we will remind you about it several more times, along with other advance coverage of West Seattle 4th of July plans (we’ll have a special page up before the week’s out), but here’s first word from Lt. James:
Over the past several years, the volume of spectators using the Alki community to watch the fireworks over Elliott Bay has grown past the ability to safely handle. The increased vehicle traffic along Alki and Harbor Ave has become a hazard for responding emergency resources. While most spectators are well-behaved, the increase in large crowd disturbances has also been noted.
To alleviate most of these issues, vehicle traffic to the Alki community will be limited on the day of the event. This will commence at 6 pm and remain in effect until the fireworks commence. Vehicle access to the Alki community will be limited to residents living within the restricted area and their guests. The basic area affected will be north of Harbor Ave at Spokane Street, north of Hamilton Viewpoint on California Ave, north of Admiral from Lander to 63rd and all of the little side streets which have access to Alki Ave. Spectators are still welcome to park their vehicles outside of the restricted area and walk to the viewing sites.
The forthcoming 4th of July page will include a map for that, as well as other holiday-related info (if you’re planning an event, big and small, that you want others to know about, e-mail us!).
The WSB inbox has been devoid of first-person crime reports lately, so when we dropped by the Southwest Precinct this afternoon to check the latest police reports, we asked Lt. Steve Paulsen if things are indeed as quiet as they seem. Not entirely crime-free, as you’ll see in this report, but yes (knock wood), it’s been relatively quiet. After more than a dozen burglary arrests, for example, they think the word’s starting to get out on the street that you’re not so likely to get away with it in West Seattle. That said, we’ve got some summaries to share, including burglaries and car break-ins as well as the search for a man who tried to lure a girl into his car, gang-affiliated squatters getting the boot, more cases of alert witnesses helping foil crimes, and more – all from a full week’s worth of reports:Read More
Managed to grab and deploy the camera quickly when we happened onto those motorcycle officers late this morning on 35th by the Golf Course entrance. That, a phone call, and a new comment on yesterday’s post makes us think we should re-mention, if you encounter a similar scene again today — it’s not an escort for a visiting dignitary, it’s annual training.
Thanks to those who called and e-mailed to ask about a police motorcade just spotted along California SW in the Admiral vicinity – we’re checking with the precinct. When it happened around this time last year (late May to be precise, WSB writeup here) it was a training exercise. 2:23 PM UPDATE: And thanks to the Southwest Precinct‘s Lt. Steve Paulsen for speedy confirmation that yes, this is/was “annual training.”
Just went through a couple more days worth of police reports – this list is nowhere as long as the one we posted the other day, but a few unusual incidents — five, to be exact — starting with the case of the defiant shoplifter:Read More
West Seattle Crime Watch has been long on reader reports and short on police reports for a while because of a change in how we access those reports, related to Seattle Police switching to a new computerized report system. But now we’re getting back into the rhythm of things, so those who are interested in these roundups can see what’s been going on. Keep those reader reports coming, though. Meantime, here are some West Seattle notes from the past four days worth of reports, plus one reader report:Read More
Today around noon, 911 is called about a suspicious car in the 7900 block of 30th Avenue SW. The license plate comes back to a stolen vehicle. Officer Jonathan Kiehn responds, but the car is gone. However, he recalls that a house on the block was burglarized recently and decides to check it out. Officers discover that the same house was burglarized again. About ninety minutes later Officer Ron Hylton locates the stolen vehicle in South Park, along with the three juvenile male suspects and property stolen from the home.
This makes 13 arrests in the past 17 days for residential burglary in West Seattle. All different suspects.
Yet another bulletin from Lt. Steve Paulsen @ the Southwest Precinct, and this one we will take the liberty of quoting verbatim, because it’s about YOU! too:
Just arrested 3 more burglary suspects..The arrest included a stolen car and weapons. (I am losing count…I think we are up to 13 [arrests]) … In my entire 24 years with the Department, I have never experienced the level of teamwork between the citizens, patrol officers and detectives … truly amazing!
Details should be available a bit later. We were just down at the precinct reviewing report printouts for the first time in a while, and it’s true – so many arrests are coming with the help of alert, persistent, determined citizens. It’s not too idealistic/corny to say you CAN take back the streets.
Busy day for the Southwest Precinct – another update just in from Lt. Steve Paulsen: “We just arrested another burglar who has been working the North Admiral neighborhood. That is a total of 8 burglary arrests in the last week.”
Quick update from Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct: A suspect is now in custody in connection with the purse-snatching attack that preceded the now-famous citizen pursuit involving local businesspeople from Husky Deli and Mashiko. (We talked to the victim, a local real-estate agent, a few days ago, and she’s doing OK.)
(photo by WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli)
Heavy police presence including SWAT team at a house in the 5400 block of 31st SW (map). It started as an assault with weapons call; we don’t know if anyone is hurt, but neighbors tell WSB contributing photojournalist Christopher Boffoli there’s been trouble at the house before. One person is reportedly inside; it’s just a standoff right now. 2:35 PM UPDATE: Here’s what else Christopher and another WSB team member on the scene have learned — According to family members, no one has been hurt; the weapon involved is a knife. Police negotiators arrived a few minutes ago and are either talking to the suspect or trying to talk with them. Obviously this is an area to stay well clear from until it’s all over; we’ll have photos/video later. 2:55 PM UPDATE: Police have allowed some nearby residents to go back into their homes. 3:27 PM UPDATE: Word from the scene – it’s over, ended safely. Separate post to come.
Two items just in from Lt. Steve Paulsen at the Southwest Precinct: First, confirmation of something we got e-mail about over the weekend: Those WERE gunshots very early Sunday morning on Alki. At 12:44 am, a man heading south from 63rd/Alki “fired 5 rounds from a .38 revolver while driving.” Witnesses gave police a description of his vehicle; several minutes later, an officer found it at Delridge/Myrtle, and found the suspect “in possession of the loaded handgun and ammunition.” They say the suspect “later confessed to shooting up in the air while driving because, ‘he felt someone on the beach had been threatening him’.” and apparently thought that person had something to do with the recent death of the suspect’s relative. No injuries or property damage; the suspect is in jail. Next – three burglary arrests yesterday that may solve more than one recent break-in:Read More
Or should we say, cases and casings … Just spent some time on the phone with Detective Nick Bauer from the Southwest Precinct, and he provided updates on some recent cases reported here, as well as a new one for which police could use your eyes and ears:Read More
This time, though, arrests are reported, thanks in part to alert neighbors. The report comes from Scott, who was away from home when the burglary happened on Sunday, but says he’s just across the alley from this burglary (7300 block 35th SW) reported here 3 days earlier:
So, from what we’ve heard someone (4 of them) attempted to break into our house today.
They backed their vehicle up our driveway and went around the back to break into a door on the backside of the house, first attempting to get into the side garage window first. While this was happening -3- of our neighbors were already on the phone calling 911 !
The police caught 2 of the guys, both in their early 20s. Obviously our house is being watched!
I’m really surprised that they attempted to hit our house; it’s a lot more open than the house across the alley from us! No trees to block the view of our house, wide-open driveway, and obviously LOTS of neighbors watching!
First reader report: Officers with guns drawn earlier this morning at 46th/Andover. We are checking on that. 9:21 AM UPDATE: Sgt. Jeff Durden at the Southwest Precinct says “911 call of a man in a back yard with a shotgun. Turned out it was only an air rifle and the intent was to shoot a woodpecker.”
Second reader report: Burglary yesterday. Here’s what Joe e-mailed to WSB this morning:
We live on the 7300 block 35th Ave SW, I went home from work to meet a service technician at 12:30 pm and found that we had been burglarized. Entry through broken window. two tvs, two cameras, laptop, misc stuff . One tv was lying on floor as if the burglars were scared off before the were done. This happened between 9:oo am and 12:30 pm and nobody saw anything.
Update: A few folks asked about a followup on the two-car crash at 35th/Thistle the other night. It’s close to impossible to get an update on the victim’s condition — privacy laws have tightened in recent years so media cannot just call up a hospital and say “somebody was brought in from a crash, how are they” — but Sgt. Durden says the crash did NOT turn fatal. As for the cause, he says one of the drivers had run the red light, and was cited.
Early Sunday, we posted 3 reader reports about gunshots at 17th/Trenton and promised to follow up with the Southwest Precinct. Just heard back from Sgt. Jeff Durden, who shared this info from the report: A 22-year-old was having a party for a friend’s birthday; “uninvited guests” showed up, a fight ensued, “several rounds” were fired into the air. The shooter(s) took off. No arrests, no injury, no property damage … no description of the suspects’ car, either. Regarding readers’ reports that this house had problems before, Sgt. Durden, who leads the Community Police Team, says it wasn’t on their radar but CPT officer Adonis Topacio will investigate — that’s who to contact (info here) if you have info to share.
So we checked with the Southwest Precinct after getting this e-mail yesterday from Sunny:
Our house was broken into on Tax Day :(
We’re on the 7900 block of 12th Ave SW and both the officer and I suspect the same bra-flinging/pizza-eating group. The thieves helped themselves to some candy and a Coke and made off with some replaceable electronics. They rummaged through my lingerie and really ripped the bedroom apart. The officer walked away with LOTS of evidence which I hope is enough to catch the thieves. I am annoyed about having to replace my pricey toys, but just sick over someone invading our home.
Sgt. Jeffrey Durden at SWP says there’s “no real leads, yet” on the “bra-scattering” burglar. However, he did have more details on the burglary suspect we mentioned in this report from Tuesday night’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting: “Thanks to good investigative work by patrol officers — three different officers lifted the same suspect’s fingerprints at residential burglary scenes –” prosecutors are expected to seek charges against the suspect, who’s currently in custody in Florida, in three burglaries from the past few months.
One more update from last night’s West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting (see the traffic-improvements report and added car-prowl details below): Community Police Team officer Adonis Topacio says at least three recent local burglaries have been linked to a suspect with a criminal history — and right now, Topacio said, he’s in custody in Florida, where he had gone to visit relatives even though leaving the state was a probation violation. Police are working to see how many burglaries in all might be linked to this suspect; this time, Topacio said, “looks like he’s going to be spending a lot of time in jail.”
This time, the alert comes straight from Lt. Steve Paulsen @ Southwest Precinct, who asked that we share this with you:
(Starting with the recent spring vacations), the Harbor Ave SW area has been inundated with carprowls … The suspects are bold and aggressive. They will wait for vehicles to park, then once the owner leaves they commit their crime. The suspects are prowling cars parked on the street and local businesses. We are working this issue aggressively with patrols and followup work from our detectives. We hope to get some success out of this. Citizens need to be reminded to keep valuables out of cars, particularly laptops.
We’d second that one, having seen countless cases of car break-ins where laptops, iPods, and GPS systems were the loot. 9:07 PM UPDATE: Just back from the West Seattle Community Safety Partnership meeting, where we learned more about this — Officer Brian Ballew said last night alone, there were about half a dozen in the Salty’s vicinity during a 2-hour period; there’s surveillance video showing possible suspects so that’s being reviewed now.